General Idea(1969 - 1994)
AA BronsonCanadian (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1946)
Felix PartzCanadian (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1945 - 1994)
Jorge ZontalCanadian, born Italy (Parma, Italy, 1944 - 1994)
Cornucopia: Fragments from the Room of the Unknown Function in the Villa dei Misterei of The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion
Cornucopia presents faux artifacts from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pageant and Pavilion, a fictional conceit on which much of General Idea's work is based.
The three-man collective simulates scholarly art research and anthropological study, anticipating a future moment when its artworks might be discovered as enigmatic ruins, inevitably subject to misinterpretation. Referring to the ways in which history is revised to fit new situations, the collective has created its own mythology with incisive wit as a form of social and art-world critique.
Informed by many sources, among them the beauty pageant, the documentary television show (such as Nature or Wild Kingdom), and the museum itself, Cornucopia is a multimedia installation that emphasizes the subjectivity of art history through the artifice of display.
Video and audio are combined with seven ceramic forms, each shaped like the end of a cornucopia, that revolve within display cases atop high pillars. A television set on the platform below presents a 10-minute video. A male voice on the soundtrack is used to represent the objective point of view and introduce context, while a female voice, both subjective and interpretive, supplies the exposition.